William_hooker-the_distance_between_us_span3
June 1999

William Hooker
The Distance Between Us
Knitting Factory

Talk about a mixed bag; a solo for the leader/drummer with voice, a duo with impressionistic piano, a scalding free-jazz suite for (I think) a quintet, a drum solo, and two long of versions a song by Sonic Youth called "Because of You", served up with the usual hype about how seamlessly it all flows and how significant it all is. Hooker is certainly an impressively powerful drummer, managing to be a one-man wall of sound or slyly subtle commentator as the case demands. And the free jazz segment is enjoyable if not earth-shaking. Pianist Mark Hennen seems to still be working through the implications of Cecil's legacy, though he has impressive moments. I liked all the horns and, particularly, the ensemble writing and blowing. A whole record like this would be great, but I think "Because of You" got sent to the wrong magazine - if I wanted to listen to rock I wouldn't be writing for this one.

Originally published in June 1999
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